I’m a little late this year, but I wanted to take my time to see who’s gonna really come wit it for the 1-7. In the past, I’ve named artists whose work ethic stood out to me, and had been steadily building their buzz. I’ll be pointing out a few of them this go round, but also I’ll be spotlighting who has a solid plan for the year, and looking forward to seeing their execution. So here we go, 10 artists (or one or two more) to watch in 2017.
Clay James (pictured above)
I put this talented artist on my list last year, and he did not disappoint. He announced in the latter part of last year that he had signed with Snoop Dogg’s Doggstyle Records. Since then he’s showed no signs of slowing down. He’s released new music, and is performing damn near every weekend. He’ll be one of many artists performing at this year’s SXSW festival, and is slowly catching the attention of many big name artists. I look forward to seeing what the Atlanta native will do this year. Since I ran across him in 2014, he’s been on a steady incline.
Kris is an artist out of South Carolina that I’ve spotlighted previously due to his unique sound, but this year he gets a spot because after a few years of supplying the people with continuous good music, he’s now preparing to release his best project to date. So he’s slowed things down a bit, so that he can focus on making this next album, “KT and the Trillfonics”, a certified classic. He’s where he should be in his career. He’s proven that he has the talent, now he’s gearing up to prove he knows how to make an album to remember.
I’ve been following Doe Boy since he was a teenager. I’ve known him since before he signed with Freebandz, and now after serving a stint in jail, he’s coming back stronger than ever. Doe already had the talent, that hard-hitting punch you in your face delivery, but now that he has jail time and a few years of maturity behind him, he’s lethal. He’s gotta new mixtape coming, “Codeine Confessions” soon, and knowing his work ethic, there will be much more to come this year.
Don-P consists of two different talents coming out of Houston, super producer Donnie Houston, and dope rapper Hot Peez. Both of them have been making noise individually around Houston for a while, but when I found out the two decided to join forces, I knew that they would be a match made in heaven. Every offering they’ve released thus far has been nothing short of high quality, including their debut project, “Lagniappe” which is out now. I hope to see more from these two throughout the New Year.
Continental GT might not be a name you’re too familiar with, but back around 2009-2012 he was up next. South Carolina had one in GT, but real life got a hold of him, and he had to tend to his responsibilities and put music on the back burner. Now with life intact, and a new found inspiration, GT is ready to take hold of the mic again, and out rap 90% or more of the rappers that’s out. No exaggeration, he drew many comparisons to Styles P, Jadakiss, and even Kendrick Lamar. Also, ya girl is behind him, so look forward to seeing GT around.
Bless The Fresh
Bless The Fresh is a collective of rappers and one dope ass producer out of Houston. Tony Del Freshco, EDF, and King Marco are the talented emcees, and Mike Red is the gifted producer that make up Bless The Fresh. I’ve spotlighted EDF and Tony individually before, but seeing progress and uniqueness of the group, I had to give them a spot as a whole. Tony and EDF have always had a sound that boasts that of that good ole classic H-town swang that we all love, but their newest addition King Marco has a voice that boosts them as a group. They each possess the lyricism, delivery, and voices, and paired with dope production from Mike and a niche for knowing how to make hit records, these guys are unstoppable.
Rock has been grinding for years now. I came across him back in 2010 when he was apart of a duo called Monopoly. Even then, the two were buzzin all around their stomping grounds of South Carolina. But now, Rock has gone solo, and since he broke out he hit the ground running. He’s been non stop; performing, shooting visuals, releasing fire records, and interviewing. There’s lots of talent in South Carolina, but I’m confident he’s next. His work ethic is impeccable, and possessing a solid talent will have him out of here. I’m excited for him, because I know his hard work is gonna pay off, and 2017 will be his year.
Onehunnidt x Bigg Fatts
Onehunnidt and Bigg Fatts, both coming out of Houston, are individually some of the best Houston has to offer, not just on an underground level, but period. As if they each weren’t dope enough, they’ve now decided to join forces and collaborate on a new venture. They’ve already blessed a with a couple of music releases, which were fire by the way, but we still have a whole project to look forward to from them! Their debut collaborative project “Smokey and Craig” will be released later this year, and judging from what I’ve heard so far, that project is gonna be serious. These two might be a dynamic duo.
Caesar is an artist who’s been hard at work for a good number of years now. He’s always produced quality music and videos, and carried unique talent along with him, but after a brief hiatus, he’s getting ready to come back with a vengeance. The Florida native already has a strong set of singles, music videos, and a whole album ready, he’s just planning and preparing his execution. This year I’m spotlighting those who have a plan and are ready to make serious noise. Caesar is one of them, don’t sleep on this forthcoming talent, never underestimate an artist with a plan and the material to back it up!
Cole Connor is a part of South Carolina hip hop collective, New Success Culture, a group full of gifted emcees around SC. Cole Connor has always been a standout in the group, and late last year he broke out and recorded his solo debut project, “SODA”. The album received rave reviews from listeners and media outlets across the board. It was a great debut for him, but if he keeps going as he should, it will serve as a warm up for much more to come from the talented emcee. Cole is impressive, and he has a bright future ahead of him. He could be the one to give South Carolina the voice is so needs.